2014 Lexus LX 570 Review – Luxury with Everything Included
Tim Esterdahl | Feb 14, 2014 | Comments 22
One of the best parts of my job is driving new vehicles and learning about them. While I have a pretty good understanding on all the vehicles on market, the Lexus LX 570 wasn’t one of them. It is shocking how off-road capable it is, how nice the interior is and how expensive it is. Yet, it is hard to not be thoroughly impressed by this luxury SUV. Here is my review.
Before I say another word, let me tell you my test model’s MSRP was $89,555. Go ahead and raise your jaw. I’ll wait for you …
Now, yes the price will immediately cause many people to walk away, I say not so fast. There is a reason it is close to $90k. The reason is that this SUV has EVERYTHING.
Many people on this site wish Toyota would offer this or that on the Tundra. While there is an argument from a price point as to why Toyota makes some of those decisions, the Lexus LX 570 doesn’t have that problem. Lexus has seemingly thrown everything at this vehicle without regard to price point. The truth is that this SUV is more off-road capable than a Tundra, rides better than a Tundra and has more features than a Tundra. Those are surprising statements when you consider how great a truck the Tundra is.
For those that are wondering, the Lexus LX 570 has a 5.7L V-8 with a 6-speed transmission (sound familiar?). It also has, I found this interesting, a welded steel unibody shell combined with a full-size steel ladder frame (body on frame) construction.
Why do I keep saying it is really off-road capable? Check out this short list of mechanical features:
- TORSEN Limited-Slip Center Differential
- Front Independent Double-Wishbone Suspension w/Adaptive Variable Suspension and Active Height Control system with Coil Springs
- Electronically Controlled Shock Absorbers and Stabilizer bars (Fr/Rr)
- Power-assisted Rack-and-Pinion Variable Gear Ratio Steering
- ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control, Crawl Control w/Turn Assist, Active Traction Control w/Multi-Terrain Select, Trailer Sway Control
Going through the list, it has the TORSEN differential – similar to the one used on the Ford Raptor. Lexus says:
The full-time four-wheel drive system in the Lexus LX 570 employs a Torsen® limited-slip locking center differential that splits the power 40:60 under normal driving conditions. The rearward power bias contributes to on-road agility. The Torsen differential responds to changing conditions, adjusting the power distribution as necessary, with no input needed from the driver. The driver can, however, lock the center differential to handle especially challenging off-road trails.
Besides the locking differential, there is the active height control. I actually had to read the manual on this one. It seems when driving at low speeds, you can actually raise the vehicle electronically for the road conditions – up to 2 inches.
The coil springs are an interesting addition and help provides for a smooth ride. It is pretty curious that the Lexus uses coil springs for a better ride while the Tundra doesn’t. I can’t recall how many times I have heard Mr. Sweers defend the ride quality of the Tundra. I wonder why they don’t just use the same coil springs Lexus and Ram does.
Last, but not least, is the CRAWL control with turn assist. I will argue that this CRAWL technology (used in the 4Runner as well) is equal to or better than a locking differential. In Jackson Hole, WY, I drove the 4Runner and we used the CRAWL control and eLocker separately. I preferred the CRAWL feature over the eLocker.
Let’s state the obvious; the Lexus LX 570 is large. In fact, it is the largest SUV that Lexus builds (and second priciest). While it could be dismissed as a big box on wheels (see: Lincoln Navigator), it is rather stylish for its size. I never felt it was so large that it was awkward to get around or park.
One of “little” features I liked about the LX was the lighting on the running boards. These lights have a set dimmer control where they stay on after you park your vehicle and turn off after a time period. Frankly, I noticed them one night when I parked it in my garage and had to retrieve something. Yes, I am probably going to sound like a whiny, non-truck guy (I’m not!), but it was really handy to have the lights stay lit without turning them on or starting up the car. I really wish my running boards on the Tundra did this. It would be nice to have a lighted step when getting out in the dark. I know, I know a dumb little feature that probably costs a ton of money to fix, but it was really convenient.
The feature I didn’t care for was the rear door hatch. The idea is that it is a “clam shell” design with the top hatch rising up like normal and then you have this little half door that folds down. I’m sure some people might find it handy, I found it awfully annoying. I mean, it felt like it was in the way when I wanted to remove items from the rear. Frankly, it just wasn’t for me and I’m not sure it serves any practical purpose.
I’m going to make another blatantly obvious statement about the LX 570 – you feel like a KING sitting in it. Yes, a King. I have sat in Bentley’s, BMWs, Porsches, Audis, etc… and this Lexus is right there with them. From the moment I opened the doors, I could see the quality. Frankly, this interior is a notch above the best the Tundra offers (1794 included).
I normally don’t talk about the in-car infotainment systems because I rarely use them, but the look of this stereo reminded me of one of those square home entertainment systems. It makes a statement in the middle of the dash and blends in nicely. In the rear, the twin DVD players were awesome for both my boys. While, we normally have portable DVD players that we strap to the headrest, the built-in quality from these players really changed my opinion on getting them as a factory option.
The only thing I didn’t care for with the Lexus, was again in the rear. The third-row seats folded up and while the picture above makes it look there is plenty of space, I couldn’t fit many items lengthwise in the rear. I’ve been told they can lay flat, yet I didn’t do this and kept it set as delivered. Folded flat or folded up, it creates this awkward space to put your groceries or other items. In my opinion, they should have stowed away. The probable reason they can’t/don’t is that Lexus wants to keep the mechanical options and high clearance in the rear. While Lexus considers this SUV as a great off-road option, I’m not sure who wants to go off-roading in a $90k SUV, but that could just be me.
The truth is that this is large SUV has much the same powertrain that is in the Tundra EXCEPT with the coil springs and the tuning, it rides more like a large sedan. Why in the world does this vehicle with such a similar makeup to the Tundra ride so much nicer is beyond me. I really do think that Sweers needs to take some notes. It is pretty easy to maneuver (if you are used to trucks not small cars) and is a pleasure to drive.
I would also add that this Lexus is considered a “truck” by their PR people. I guess I can see the reference, yet it doesn’t have a bed, so no go for me. Also, I will add that this is the same vehicle that Joe Bacal, friend of the site, drove to victory at several Baja races. Lastly, I did a calculation on what a monthly payment would be with a small down payment, low interest, etc.. (how I would buy a vehicle). Let’s just say it was more than my mortgage payment.
The reality is that I could go on and on about how great of a vehicle this is (rear hatch issues and all). Yet, it is a crazy vehicle in Lexus’ lineup. I mean, it is such a large vehicle with the body on frame construction that it just doesn’t seem to fit. However, it is a “global” vehicle for them and they sell around 4-5k annually.
Alright, you’re turn. Let us know how much you want this SUV!
Search terms people used to find this page:
- https://tundraheadquarters com/2014-lexus-lx-570-review/
Filed Under: TundraHeadquarters.com
It’s considered a truck because it is still body on frame with V8 strong.
Pretty sure I read the frame is also fully boxed to go with the rear coils. Toyota has said before, trucks and SUVs are different…
Tundra is designed to haul and tow first, provide comfort second. This can be done in more than one way, make frame rigid and rely on springs for everything compromising tow/haul-comfort and reducing durability or let frame have some flex to help while improving durability.
Frame flex from big tow/haul is why pickups have separate cab and box. SUV bodies are one piece best not bent so they get rigid frame with cushy mounts. Using coils makes sense for packaging space and is afforded by less likely to get a truckload of weight in cargo area. This also means coils can be softer sprung for comfort and front to rear weight bias helps the whole thing work where pickups are front heavy empty and this can completely reverse by overloading their big boxes.
Get a non-TRD Tundra and load 1000lbs low in the box and you will see a better ride that is well controlled. Do that with SUV, and you will drag bumper and bottom out suspension on bumps for some jarring hits with floaty steering and less control.
Different targets mean different configurations. Suspension springs are designed for a weight, this is more variable in a truck and what works empty will sucks when full and vice versa. Ram went to a nice expensive coil system and one-upped others for ride but there is cost to this in the MSRP and to tow/haul performance.
Those are great points. I have to say that this review was difficult in that I was blown away by how much off-roading was in it and the ride quality. I, actually, edited this piece several times because I felt like I was rambling way too much.
While I agree that their is a trade off in what Toyota is trying to accomplish with the Tundra, I would also say that the customer demands from a truck have changed drastically since the second-gen Tundra was developed. Seems to me it used to be about towing prowess and dependability. It now seems like it is more about fuel economy and ride quality. I base this on the recent introductions of new trucks and the PR presentations that lead off with these two ideas.
I’ll let others weigh in on the pros/cons of the coil springs with regards to overall towing performance. I would only say that in the past week, many on this site, have said they wouldn’t even come close to the max towing on their half-ton (6,200 lbs) and instead would use a 3/4 ton, 1 ton. My thought is that I would prefer to give up some of the towing to get a better ride. Not that the Tundra has a bad ride, it is that this Lexus had an amazing ride compared to it. But, hey, it is a Lexus. 🙂
I actually like the split rear door. Same thing on the land cruiser. Here’s a good reason…. you just came back from a sloppy wet offroad trip and you stop by have a tailgate snack. We all knew suv are notorious for collecting dirt in the rear. In the case of the 4runner and the like, you can sit on the bumper because it’s filthy dirty at this point. Ala land cruiser/lx570….. you have a clean tailgate to sit on. It’s actually quite accommodating for many occasion, imo.
There is no question this is one of the better AWD systems on the market. I say that because of the components, not because I have tested it. Isn’t Toyota a part owner of Torsen? Or is it one of those web rumors?
Look at the marketing material: “The driver can, however, lock the center differential to handle especially challenging off-road trails”. Well great apple mud pie; that is exactly how the Tundra comes out of the box, a locked transfer case with 50/50 locked control (front/rear) at all times. No wonder I was able to scamper up the steepest hills the last ice storm and make sharp turns when the Ford’s with either AWD or rear eLockers only could not.
Yes Lexus has interior design and function dialed in, Tundra does not. I am shocked at the number of items completely missed in the 2014; things that absolutely nothing to do with the price of a vehicle.
Tim thanks for the write up on this car, it is as close to one as I will ever get.
What is the North American Parts content for the LX570? I read on the web it was 0%.
It might be 0%. Lexus made clear to me that it is a “global” vehicle, so parts content doesn’t seem to matter to them.
If that is the case, is it correct to say that the Tundra and LX570 do NOT share any significant parts? The NA content of the Tundra is 75%. I’ve had the understanding that the engine was shared between the two. The engine for the Tundra is made in the USA, meaning that the engine is not shared between the two.
Let me ask my sources about the content.
I believe the NA Parts Content should be on the window sticker.
The sticker I got doesn’t list that information.
All I have to say is…..90k?
LOL. Did you close your mouth after your jaw hit the floor?? I knew that would be a BIG part of the review, so I got it out of the way first.
Ya, different strokes for different folks but I’d take a fully load one ton diesel and 25k in my pocket long before that thing
But that’s just me
If the Lexus had a SC V8, like my Tundra, or a Cummins small V8 twin turbo Diesel with 540 ft. lbs of torque, I could live with the price.
For comparison, the Land Rover Sport SuperCharged bases at 79k. Loaded, it’s 90k with that hot motor and a very capable 4WD drivetrain. The new LR Sport SC weighs considerably less (all aluminum) with an 8spd and should get predictably better mpg. You’re getting so much more tech for the buck with a LR, but reliability is always in question. Lexus is rock solid reliable.
The Lexus should have based at like 70k. Then optioned at least a SC as the diesel is not out there yet. The Lexus will hopefully be remodeled with some of the tech leading examples in the truck SUV market in a few years.
The LX570 certainly deserves more thought and a thorough redesign with weight loss at the top of its agenda. I’d get a used 2014 ( for 25k less) and slap a SC on it! But that’s me.
That is very good insight. I wonder if Lexus has much incentive to do much with it. I mean, they don’t sell a lot, yet they probably make quite a bit of profit on each one they sell. Also, since they basically own the off-road, luxury SUV market (LX 570 and, to some degree, the Land Cruiser), I’m not sure they have much to gain.
With that price, off road capability, they should have added KDSS which is also available on 4Runner Trail Editions
At that price the dang vehicle better make me breakfast.
0% US parts content. Looks like the engine and transmission are not shared.
Nuts, unless filthy rich why?
Same can be said for my neighbors (although bought used) cadillac escalade with 20″ rims.
Why you say? Social status like they think they belong to a higher class or something?
I’ll take my 3.5L V6 FWD 2011 Hyunda Santa Fe for 23.5K bought new anyday of the week and do 99% this 90K SUV can do.
I still think for the money, the hyundai santa fe is top notch much cheaper than the toyota rav4 or highlander which doesn’t offer anything more I need at 4-9K less money.
I agree with you mk.
Look at specs for last gen 4runner with the V8… this can be quite affordable, with 2003 used models, great offloaded. it has full time 4×4, same to send center different with lock, attached, xreas, etc etc…
yes, used is a good price toyrulz. Even the new hyundai santa fe’s are pushing that 28K range and NO longer offer a V6 like my 2011 model santa fe. All mfgs. are going to turbo charged 4 bangers which I WILL NEVER buy. Those turbo 4 cylinders offer higher revving rpms with the same hp/torque numbers (nearly the same) and ONLY at most 1-2 more mpg at best.